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Cyber Crime 'Incident' set to Cost Hearing Aid Manufacturer US$95 Million

One of the world's largest manufacturers of hearing aids, Demant, estimates that a cyber crime 'incident' will cost the company up to US$95 million, one of the most costly attacks in recent years.

Demant's issues began on September 3, when the company alerted the world via a statement: "The Demant Group has experienced a critical incident on our internal IT infrastructure."

At no time has the company outlined the specific details of the incident, even though a September 4 statement said "we have identified the root causes hereof", but didn't elaborate. This has lead many to suspect a ransomware attack, especially considering the size of the losses ... Demant outlined on September 26 that the financial impact of the incident on EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) this year is estimated to be $80-$95 million.

When the incident occurred, Demant immediately shut down IT systems across multiple sites and business units, which they say contained and limited the incident. However, some aspects of the business were impacted, including research and development, production and distribution.

The company has been gradually recovering and restarting elements of the business across the regions it services, and expect to have the remaining systems, applications and servers up and running within 2-3 weeks. Distribution facilities are running at full capacity, while production lines in Poland and Mexico are nearing full capacity once again.

"We continue ramping up to accommodate the back-log built up since the incident," the company stated.

Demant says the incident and subsequent losses have prevented growth in what are considered "some of the most important months of the year" – particularly in the US, the company's biggest market.

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